If you or a loved one gets diagnosed with breast cancer it can seem like the world is crashing in around you. At the Avera Cancer Institute they want to help put it all back together by coming up with a plan to help you navigate your journey from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. It's why they've developed a Comprehensive Breast Care Program.
In mid-May of 2008 she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She had a 5 centimeter tumor and the cancer had already spread to the lymph nodes. After a bi-lateral mastectomy and chemotherapy she says the worst of it is over.
Linee says, "I'm feeling good, good. It's not as difficult as I thought it would be."
Linee credits her comfort level to her care and her Medical Oncologist Dr. Amy Krie and the Comprehensive Breast Care Program at Avera McKennan's Avera Cancer Institute.
Dr. Amy Krie says, "Comprehensive breast care means we are really getting women from the beginning to the end." Dr. Krie is also the Clinical Director of the Avera Breast Care Center.
What many of you may not know, when a woman gets diagnosed with breast cancer they may have 5 or 6 physicians (ie.,Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon, Medical Oncologist, Radiation Oncologist, Radiologist, & Pathologist). Those specialists would either consult over the phone or in the hallway after work, but that changed 2 years ago with Dr. Krie. Now they have a breast tumor conference each week when they meet face to face to strategize over the treatment plan for every new breast cancer case diagnosed at Avera.
Dr. Krie says, "A study out of Australia showed women who's cases were presented at a multi-disciplinary conference had a higher chance of beating their breast cancer than women who's cases weren't. I think it is a very important thing that we do here."
Linee says, "I love that all the experts are looking out for me. Absolutely it's a team effort. It's very comforting."
Avera knows that cancer care is more than treating the disease, it's caring for the person. Linee Gaddis appreciates that and says it's helped her deal with her diagnosis and kept her fighting through her treatment.
Linee will be done with radiation by the middle of November. She then has to wait another 6 months before starting the re-construction process. She knows it's a long road, but says it's been a positive experience because of the people she's met along the way.